Tag Archives: Indie

IndieView: Timothy Frost, author of, The Abigail Affair

The Abigail Affair by author Timothy FrostI’ve got a few thousand sea miles under my belt, all in and around the South China Sea, which is why a friend of mine recommended, ‘The Abigail Affair’. So I trundled off to Amazon, paid the ridiculous international wireless delivery charge, and got the book. About eight hours later I was finished. Yes, this is a, “Don’t interupt me I’m reading novel.”

You can read my review of The Abigail Affair hereAfter all that I had to get in touch with Tim, and invite him to spill the beans. Which he graciously agreed to do – herewith the beans.

“I thought, ‘What the hell?’ and uploaded it. I got some great reviews, and then it went from Smashwords on to Barnes and Noble and ended up in their Top 10 e-books with 14,000 downloads. I realized I should carry on writing, and that there was no need for an agent or a publisher any more.” – Timothy Frost 17 December 2010 Continue reading

IndieView: Valmore Daniels, author of, Forbidden The Stars

Cover for Forbidden The Stars, by author Valmore Daniels

As an indie author one of the things you’ve got to work hard at is making connections and marketing. Just about every forum I’ve joined, Valmore has been hanging out in the, “Introduce Yourself” thread and has always welcomed me to any new forum. If you head over to KindleBoards, you’ll also find, in the Writer’s Cafe, that Valmore shares things he learns with other indie authors. Lots of good karma points.

“For Forbidden The Stars I use an online editor program, and that came back to haunt me. From this point on, everything I write I will filter through a professional human editor.” – Valmore Daniels 2 December 2010 Continue reading

IndieView: Vicki Tyley, author of, Thin Blood

Cover for Thin Blood, by Author Vicki Tyley

Vicki is currently one of four Indie authors who are Amazon reader’s favorites for 2010. The book above has sold over 25,000 copies. By any standards that’s a successful book. Whether you’re just starting out on the Indie path or the soles of your shoes are worn thin, this interview will give you the inspiration and courage to keep going.

“I’m an Australian writer with an American agent. After a lot of effort, he’d been unable to sell Thin Blood, in large part because most of the publishers refused to even look at the book. “Americans don’t want to read Australian mysteries,” he was told… As of today, with sales in excess of 25,000 it’s an Amazon 2010 Customer Favorite.” – Vicki Tyley 24 November 2010 Continue reading

IndieView: Steve Anderson, author of, The Losing Role

Cover for The Losing Role, by author, Steve Anderson

In this interview Steve talks passionately about his book, his writing and the path he took to getting published. One of the nice things about posting these interviews is the really interesting and good people I’ve met along the way. What isn’t on display are the numerous emails and chats that go with putting a post up. Within those I get a sense of the passion of the authors – to date that has been an inspiration, none more so than in Steve’s case. Enjoy!

“I must have read an article about authors putting their books out for Kindle. That lead me to three or more articles and some googling, and by then I knew I had to do it because I had these manuscripts that had been vetted over the years but were sitting in a drawer.” – Steve Anderson 20 November 2010 Continue reading

Changes to the Indie Reviewers List

I’ve made some minor changes to the Indie Reviewers List. If you’re in the wrong category please let me know. Public Service Announcement Over.

Indie Author Wanda Shapiro On Radio

Wanda Shapiro, author of, Sometimes That Happens With Chicken

Wanda Shapiro who’s been interviewed on this site, talks on radio about her book and Indie Publishing. Listen to this interview it is a great insight into Indie Publishing (and marketing).

Listen to it Here. Find out more about Wanda Here.

IndieView: Tom Lichtenberg, author of, “Snapdragon Alley”

Snapdragon by author, Tom Lichtenberg

Tom Lichtenberg, our Indie author being interviewed today, has a great take on what it is to be “Indie”. He’s written a LOT of books. The fun he has, shows in his writing. I especially liked his comment on marketing,

“I am totally winging it. I have no idea what I’m doing.” Continue reading

Indieview: Maria Savva, author of, “Second Chances”

Second Chances by Maria Savva

I’m happy to introduce you to Maria Savva, author of, “Second Chances”.

About the book:

What is the book about?

‘Second Chances’ is a very modern novel about life and relationships. Continue reading

IndieView: Wanda Shapiro, author of, “Sometimes That Happens With Chicken”

Cover of Sometimes That Happens With Chicken

For the first IndieView I’m happy to introduce you to Wanda Shapiro, author of, Sometimes That Happens With Chicken.

About the book:
What is the book about?

Sometimes That Happens With Chicken is a literary novel with a large cast of characters whose lives become inextricably intertwined due to the life choices of a complete stranger. It’s set in the Village in New York City with historical threads reaching from Texas to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Self Publishing or Indie – What’s in a name

The playing field of publishing has tilted, but it hasn’t leveled by any means. The vast majority of books sold still involve the cutting down of a tree and the passing through of some very tiny gates. But it is has tilted, and if you step back, and make a little director’s square with your hands, you’ll see that it is skewed in favor of those who understand the digital world.

There is no doubt that some of the Big Six (BS) will alter course to swing their mammoth tankers towards the unchartered waters of the social consumer. Others will order the champagne to flow and tell the orchestra on the poop deck to play louder. What shape the industry will take is anybody’s guess, but if you’re looking for direction, Mike Shatzkin’s blog is a good place to go. He has a very good piece with Random House CEO, on transitioning from B2B to B2C.

But this post isn’t about the calamity,or not, that BS are facing. Rather it hopes to delve into something of a different nature. An insecure, abused orphan, lacking in confidence, and reaching its adolescent years suffering from an identity crisis; Self Publishing.

It’s a well-known fact that the label, self publishing, carries with it a stigma. The stigma that once you’ve self-published you’re finished as a writer. A stigma born of the past,  and carefully nurtured by those with a vested interest in the present. The BIG argument from the BS train is that the slush pile is being put on-line. For a near hysterical diatribe from an extremely arrogant and myopic viewpoint, from a lady who’s clearly suffering her own identity crisis (“I’m the man”) go here, feel free to flame comment. Guess what, they’re right. The slush pile is being put on-line. So what. I can reject something just as quick as you can, however unlike you, I don’t think that I am the sole arbiter of taste, nor do I believe that I am unique.

We’re reliably informed by many Agent blogs that the vast majority of “real books” by “real authors” (i.e. pure BS), never earn out their advances and end up being returned. OK, so an agent chose those books and BS editors squabbled over them, the marketers marketed and the sales people sold; and then the public didn’t buy them. I can do that :-).

There is a lot of crap out there from both Trad and Indie publishing. Both parties are aware of this and neither has a solution. BS say the slush is going on-line, Self Publishers (SP) are saying we need to change our name from SP to Indie Publishers (IP) to help distinguish between good Indie and bad Indie. Why? Because self publishing has that stigma and it isn’t bleeding palms. How do you change the perception that something published by an individual is at least the equal of something published by a corporation. For a quick and sad (in my opinion) look at how decisions are made about books have a read over here.

You don’t. The market will decide. What has changed is that the market is now a lot bigger and this is a good thing.

The good stuff will float to the top. Amazon‘s way of doing this is via reviews – user driven reviews. Goodreads and LibraryThing are two other sites where readers write reviews on books. And it works. Yes there are the “release reviews” which are impossible to avoid or to police, (hey publishers print “his latest bestseller” on the front of books which haven’t been released yet), but if the author hasn’t done their work in marketing then that’s all the reviews that author is going to get.

If the author has done their work and spread the message that their new book is available, then some people will sample, some will buy, and the reviews will add up. Some will be mean-spirited, I haven’t had my coffee yet, 1 star for you type reviews, with the reviewer not even having read the book (hey, that happens at agencies too); other reviews will be well thought out by passionate readers who have read past work by the author and didn’t like or liked the work for reasons which they point out in the review.

There are two broad assumptions in the BS world. One – Self publishing is OK for niche non-fiction (thanks for that, I’ll rush to print with my in-depth study of the impact of pet rocks upon the modern American Psyche); and Two; that self publishers are a lazy lot who have no idea about editing, cover design, and (here’s the cruncher) what sells. I’ve read enough blogs and seen enough evidence to know that the first assumption is simply BS, and the second is just plain rude.

Excluding my time (in my day job I’m charged out at US$3,000 a day), I’ve spent about USD6,000 on getting my book, TAG, to where it is. The cover and copy editing remain to be finished, and when they’re done I’ll have spent a total of about USD8,000 on the book. Then I’ll put it up for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. I consider every penny that I’ve invested to be money well spent. The vast proportion went on developmental editing; which for me was a crash course in writing. I don’t have the time to take an MFA, and whilst books about how to write, help, there is nothing like having a professional critique of your own work to advance.

My publishing goal is simple: put out a great product. That means an attractive cover, no typo’s, and a well written, hopefully, entertaining story. How hard is that? Dam hard, but it can be done. Will the market like the book? Who knows? But if they don’t, it won’t be because of errors in the text or a crappy cover, ergo laziness. Maybe the writing isn’t ready for prime-time, but I can get feedback on that from an audience. As opposed to trying to decipher months of silence interspersed with snippets of “I didn’t fall in love with it.”

What happens if it doesn’t sell? I’ll write another one. I’ve already started, quite some time ago, about a month after the first one. If that doesn’t sell? OK, I’ll write another one. My writing goal is to have what I write read by people, lots of them, and I’d like those people to pay for what I write. That is verification. Each time I write I get better. Each time I publish I’ll get better. Each time I read reviews and see feedback I’ll get better. The difference is that I’ll use the market to tell me what they like and what they don’t.

From my perspective the business model offered by BS, and the model offered by IP (note: the acronym for Indie Publishing is also commonly used for Intellectual Property; whereas the acronym of Big Six… well I’m sure you get it) boils down to one significant difference and one thing only. No, it isn’t money, (if it does sell) you stand to make much more with IP.

The only reason that you should consider going with BS is because, for now, they still have the reach. They can put your book on a shelf. All the rest you can do as well, if not better, than Trad. Why? Because BS is firing a whole bunch of talented people and those people are going to want to eat. The shingles will be hung and in some instances they’ll say, I know you can’t afford me so I’ll take a cut, let’s say 20% of that 70% you get from Amazon – deal? Deal.

People don’t buy books from publishers. They buy them from authors. In the past this meant that you had to get on a bookshelf and the bookshelf was a monopoly. Now a portion of that bookshelf is electronic. Your average, serious, Indie author knows their customers better than any of the BS. How many of the BS actually know who is behind the Bookscan numbers. How many email addresses, blogs and facebook pages are tucked away in their CRM databases? I suspect, given that one CEO of a BS recently claimed that the high cost of ebooks was justified due to the high cost of digital warehousing (I’m not making this up), that the answer is, “More champagne Harper, and do get the orchestra to play a Waltz.”